Improve a little bit every week. That’s the philosophy of this year’s Columbia Falls High School girls soccer team as the squad looks to get back to the playoffs again this year.
Last season, the Wildkats made it to the state Class A championship game in dramatic fashion, winning two playoff games in overtime — beating Laurel 4-2 in the first round and Park County High School in Livingston 1-1 (4-2) to advance to the finals. They lost the championship game at home to Billings Central, 6-0.
The Kats lost its all-time top scorer, Danielle Delventhal, to graduation. She has gone to play on a scholarship at Adams State University in Colorado. But the Kats will retain most of its core players, including strikers Lexi Corbett and Haley Purdy. Corbett led the team in scoring last season.
“We’ve got a good returning core of 16 players,” coach Greg Trenerry said. “We want to improve on where we ended last year.”
The squad will also have a new goalie in senior Andrea Getts. Getts played a backup role to senior Kira Kamrud last year. This year, Getts is backed up by newcomer Allyson Gimbel.
On defense, the Kats will look toward all-state defender Megan Seliger for leadership in the backfield.
Like the boys, the girls will start out the season facing Eastern Montana foes. They will open Friday, Sept. 6, against Park County High School, then face Belgrade the next day and Laurel and Billings Central in away games the next weekend.
“It will be a good test for us,” Trenerry said.
Last year, the Kats went 12-2-1 overall. Their only losses were twice to Billings Central. The Northwest conference this season should be tough. Whitefish is always good, and Trenerry noted that Bigfork and Polson have also improved.